Friday, July 12, 2019

Twelve Ways to Know if God is Speaking

I'd like to share with you some valuable lessons I learned from trying to figure out whether or not I was hearing from the Lord in certain situations.  

More than likely somewhere along your journey with Jesus you've asked something like this ...

How do I (we) know when God is speaking to me (us)? 

That's a great question, and you're not alone in wondering what the answer is.  This is something that I’ve asked myself in the past, and others have come to me with this same dilemma more times than I can remember.   

The answer lies in the character and ways of God.  For me, the difference from before is that now I know what to look for because of time spent in the Word, and through fellowship with the Lord.

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Most people don't have an issue whether or not God would reveal something to them one way or another, it's that they don't know if it really is God or how to listen to His voice.  Unless we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, there really isn't much He has to say.  Establishing a relationship with Jesus first through salvation will enable us to comprehend when God is speaking to us.

So how do we know whether something is a God thing or if it isn’t?  If you are like me, I've questioned who was actually doing the talking if you know what I mean.

"Was it really me thinking God was trying to get through to me?  Maybe it was the devil hoping I'd make the wrong decision by feeding my mind with thoughts that would lead away from what God really wanted me to do.  Or was it really God after all, but the distractions kept me from following what He said?"

Here is the thing.  There are so many ways in which we can know whether or not we are hearing from the Lord concerning a situation, but I’d like to share these twelve points with you to help you have a discerning heart. 

Twelve Ways to Know if God is Speaking 

1. The first thing to recognize is something that never changes, so it’s the easiest to remember.  Whatever we feel God is saying will always be consistent with His Word.   

He never goes against what is in the Bible, so that really cuts down on the confusion.  

I learned this a long time ago. If the Bible can be divided or discerned rightly, it can also be discerned wrongly.  This is a vital reason why believer’s need to study the Word of God.   

If we know what it says we also know what it doesn’t say, and this will considerably narrow down wondering whether or not we’re hearing from God. 

 “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing (rightly handling and skillfully teaching) the Word of Truth." (2 Timothy 2:15 AMPC) 

2.  Sometimes when we hear from God He will give us directions we don't understand.  When we are listening to hear from the Lord, it will clash with the flesh nature. This isn't to say that God doesn’t want us to have any joy or fun in life, but it’s about not following the carnal nature that will lead us back into sin. 

3.  We know God is speaking to us when it challenges our faith.  If it doesn’t, begin to question the source.  The Lord will lead us to do things that result in bringing Him glory. 

4.  God’s direction will rely on us having courage to do something unusual and think differently.  He will deal with issues in your life that you fear so He can provide courage for you to trust Him and be valuable to His plan. 

5.  If we think that God will speak to us with the intentions of leaving others out of the mix, it isn’t going to happen.  The Lord will always have us consider how it affects others, even if it has to do with the life of an animal. 

He will never direct His children to do something selfish. We will know it's the voice of God when we ask how our behavior in a particular circumstance will affect others, and if it leads people to Him through the fruit of the Spirit. 

Let’s Keep Going 

6.  We can be sure it’s not God speaking if harm is involved, because He will not tell us to hurt someone or something.  However, don’t be deceived by thinking feelings aren’t hurt in this process. 

People get hurt because they don't understand the plan of God and may try to rush it.   Misunderstanding how God thinks and communicates with His children is a big reason that we fail to understand His ways. 

7.  Waiting in silence is another way to determine if God is trying to tell us something.  There are many times the Lord will have us wait patiently to develop our trust in His direction.  In waiting we build strength and courage to step out of our comfort zone.  

“Be strong and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord!”
(Psalm 31:24 AMPC) 

Sometimes we have to do things now, but most of the time we don't. Be sensitive and cautious to hear God distinctly. We are given many instances in the Bible where individuals didn’t want to wait on God and got themselves into all sorts of trouble.  King Saul was one of those people.    

When it came time to sacrifice to the Lord he didn't want to wait for the prophet to show up, and took things into his own hands violating the holiness of the process.  His impatience cost him the throne; a big price to pay for not waiting a few more days. 

8.  You can tell when God is speaking because He won't tell us to make a decision and forget the consequences.   As a matter of fact we can be sure if it’s the devil or the flesh speaking because we’ll hear: 

“Hey let’s do this.  Eat, drink and be merry.
It won’t hurt anyone; only me.” 

God requires that we act in wisdom because the decisions we make today truly effect tomorrow.  He even tells us to ask for wisdom so we don’t fall into this false sense of pride thinking we can handle everything on our own.  To avoid considering there will be consequence to the action is downright nuts and involves no wisdom at all. 

9.  When God speaks to us He will advise seeking godly counsel as verification to what is believed to be the course of action. True Christian counsel won’t be afraid to tell what God says about a matter, and will never feed us only what we want to hear on a subject.  Their counsel will confirm what God is telling us, where as ungodly advice destroys people. 

“The mouth of the [uncompromisingly] righteous utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks with justice.”
(Psalm 37:30 AMPC) 

“She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness (giving counsel and instruction).”
 (Proverbs 31:26 AMPC) 

10. God's voice will cause His people to grow spiritually and not go backwards. We may be tested and fail the test, but that's not going backwards from Him we're just not moving forward.

If we happen to miss what God is saying and fail at a task it’s because of something we did.  Thankfully because of His grace and favor we will have another opportunity to keep trying as we focus on hearing His voice.

“So let those (of us) who are spiritually mature and full-grown
have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you
have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.” (Philippians 3:15 AMPC) 

Our lack of faith and wisdom causes us to make mistakes and go backwards. Poor decisions will cause that to happen, not His direction. That's why we need the wisdom and help of the Holy Spirit in our lives daily. 

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God
 (Who gives) to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly,
without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.”
 (James 1:5 AMPC) 

The Ultimate Knowing it’s God Talking 

11. This is the most positive way that I know when it’s really God trying to speak to my spirit.  I have an inner peace about my decision. 

God's voice will always lead to ultimate peace in our spirit, if we aren’t experiencing that it is not God and the conflict is all ours.  The Amplified Bible says that the peace of God sits as an umpire on our hearts. I like that because peace is basically making the call.

“And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule
 (act as umpire continually) in your hearts (deciding and settling
with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state) to which as (members of Christ’s) one body you were also called (to live).  And be thankful (appreciative, giving praise to God always). (Colossians 3:15 AMP) 

If there is any struggle to get from the conflict to peace we can be sure that it’s not God speaking; the controversy is of our own making.   Sometimes we cause our own discord if we don’t immediately hear how to go about handling a situation. 

Yes, we might get a little impatient, but don’t get discouraged thinking you’ve missed hearing from God.  Learning to recognize if it’s God or not takes time in discerning His voice, but stick with it and you will. 

Jesus said My sheep know My voice. If you want to know God's voice you have to listen. To discern what He says, the Word is the way.  

“The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice;
 and I know them, and they follow Me.”
 (John 10:27 AMPC)

The Voice of Truth 

12.  The last point to keep in mind is that God’s voice will always be the Voice of Truth.

He will never lie to us or lead us in the wrong direction, because God cannot lie.  It’s not a part of the nature of God.

So let's do a quick recap of the 12 ways.

Twelve Ways to Know if God is Speaking 

 1.  Consistent to His Word

 2.  Gives Directions We Don’t Always Understand

 3.  Challenges Our Faith

 4.  Courage is Needed

 5.  Consider How it Affects Others

 6.  Will Not Direct Us to Harm

 7.  Wait in Silence

 8.  Consider the Consequences

 9.  Seek Godly Counsel

10. Grow Spiritually

11. There Will Be Inner Peace

12. God’s Voice is the Voice of Truth

There will be a lot of “voices” that try to make you follow their path, but don’t be swayed in their direction.  Remember there is only one VOICE of Favor and that is the Voice of Jesus … His is the Voice of Truth! 

This Week’s Challenge:
The Voice of Favor:
Listening Step-by-Step 

God really does want us to receive favor in life, but we have to learn if what we think is favor really is.

When my sister thought she was hearing from God in getting the puppy playmate so her dog would have a companion, it really looked like a good deal. 

After all the evidence was considered, “free” wasn’t a God thing.  It was a distraction from satan, so that sis would make a wrong decision costing her a great deal financially as well as emotionally. 

The challenge before us is to recognize and discern who is doing the talking when we make choices.  We need to keep in mind the twelve points and determine who and what is guiding us to make the decision at hand. 

Ask yourself who is speaking: 

Me (meaning you or me),
satan or
are we following ungodly counsel. 

If we remember to follow these points it will always lead us to the favor of God, because the Voice of Truth is the one doing the speaking and directing. 

“Grace (favor and spiritual blessing) to you and
 (inner, heart) peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
(the Messiah, the Anointed One)."
(1 Corinthians 1:2 AMPC emphasis mine)

The Voice of Truth by Casting Crowns

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Until next time, God’s voice speaks favor into life!

“I Am the voice of favor – hear Me.”
Jesus Christ 

*Unless noted, the names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 

Note: Emphasis is given in some scriptures to show clarity or understanding and is not to take away from the inspirited Word of God. 

When used, the words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

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Hearing God's Voice Today by James W. Goll on Daily Favor Blog

Practical Help for listening to Him and Recognizing His Voice
by James W. Goll 

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    1. I am thankful the Lord led you here and pray His blessings over your ministry.


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